Christmas in San Diego

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Escape the winter chill masked by overcast skies with a trip to the sunshine and temperate climate in San Diego. They have a distinct California twist where you can embrace to the warmth of the season. There are various activities ranging from private carol concerts and brunches at the finest restaurants to the museums and art centres at Old Town. You will be intrigued by the city’s founding story in the Gaslamp Quarter and the Alcala which is one of the first 21 missions established by Father Junipero Serra himself. Arrange for a behind the scenes visit to the Birch Aquarium and celebrate the Posada event with the Mexican community is the rich Christmas spirit. The fun never ends during the Christmas season in San Diego.

1. Stay at the Hotel Del Coronado

This is one of the most happening places in San Diego during the holiday season, and they have a wide variety of activities like Skating by the Sea, a Victorian Tea, Sunday brunch with Santa, and the beachside jingle roast of s’mores. The most attractive element of the stay is the upside down Christmas tree set up by the hotel in their lobby! The prices are different depending on the room and services you book, and the hotel staff are very pleasant and will help you decide your reservations in case you have any queries and confusion.

2. Enjoy the La Valencia

The Sea of Lights is an annual event that illuminates the La Valencia with thousands of hundreds of lights. A tree lighting ceremony is held at the La Sala Lounge in the evening where people gather and exchange warm holiday greetings with beverages, homemade cookies and crafts. People greet each other while singers perform merrily prior to the tree lighting.  

3. Visit the Global Winter Wonderland

Enjoy the Global Winter Wonderland in San Diego with a large display of traditional Chinese lanterns along with acrobats. They also have a wide variety of carnival rides and games that will keep you entertained and thrilled. The assortment of international food and craft is vast for all those who are interested. This event is held at SDCCU Stadium, which was formerly known as Qualcomm Stadium, in Mission Valley. The admission cost is $22 for adults and $19 for the kids. The admission charges include a few of the rides and other extra attractions. They have provisions for special packages as well which can be availed from their website prior to the event. The event goes on for a month from 4 in the evening to 10 pm.

4. Spend some time at the Maritime Museum of San Diego

The Winter Wonderland hosted by the Maritime Museum of San Diego has a synthetic ice rink where you can skate your heart out. They also have other attractions such as a Pirate Ship Bounce House and Slide and photographs with Santa Claus. The cost of skating on the synthetic rink is around $12 for adults and $10 for children between the age of 3 and 12. The Bounce House charges $3 for the kids, and a picture with Santa will cost you $12. It is open from 4 in the evening to 8 pm on specific days only so you need to ensure that you mark this on your calendar and have tickets pre-booked if possible.

5. Explore the Old Fashioned Christmas at Santa Fe

This annual event is only a few years old and yet attracts a lot of guests every holiday season. It features ice skating under the stars and the lighting ceremony of a 20 foot Christmas tree. Along with the lighting they offer soup tasting and photographs with Santa. This event is free of cost and is open to the general public on just one day around the beginning of the December month. You can walk in around 5 in the evening but do not forget to carry cash for purchasing food and beverages there. 

6. Be  a part of the Sea World’s  celebration

Sea World in San Diego has a Live Nativity Musical which has been fairly recently introduced. Visit Santa in his Village which is beautifully adorned with Christmas décor and bright lights. Take pictures with Santa and his favourite reindeer, the red-nosed Rudolph at his house. Additionally, they also have a special animal show which is themed according to the holiday season. The park comes alive with yuletide cheer as the Christmas characters meet and greet the guests and Mrs Claus makes it merrier in the Christmas Village with her magic. A meal can be arranged with Santa and Orcas in the park which is lit with one million low-energy lights. The cost for all these activities is included in the admission package which is different for different age groups and the activities you choose inside Sea World. 

7. Enjoy the Garden of Lights at Botanic Garden

After dusk, you can witness the San Diego Botanical garden light up with thousands of holiday lights. There are horse-drawn wagon rides for the guests and crafts which can be used as Christmas presents. Santa appears for a short time to mingle with the visitors who otherwise engage in activities such as marshmallow roasting and wine tasting. It is open from 5 in the evening to 9 pm, and the cost for non-members is $15 for adults and $5 for children between ages 3 and 12.

8. Attend The San Diego Bay Parade

The Bay Parade of Lights has been a tradition that has been continued for almost 50 years in San Diego. This event features around 80 boats that are decorated with lights and Christmas decorations. These boats sail along the waters in San Diego Bay and are followed by a display of fireworks over the water. You can get a great view of the Coronado Island Marriott resort or the Coronado Ferry Landing. The reflection of the lights as they dance on the rippling water is a sight that fills every individual with the warmth of the holiday season.

Being one of the liveliest cities in the USA, San Diego offers a vast range of activities and events during Christmas that can cherish any dejected soul. So, if you want to have some fun during your holidays, then grab a flight to San Diego and have an amazing Christmas.


Happy-go-lucky gourmand met boho femme met snoozy miss, proud of her playlist and closet; very particular about her chai, sleep and movies ...